This post is a paid review. Hotelcalculator.com approached me with an offer to review their site. They did not, however, pay for a particular opinion. What follows is my experience using the site.
HotelCalculator.com is an aggregate search engine for hotels. You enter your destination, date of travel and number of guests and then receive a listing of hotels. You can then sort the hotels by location, price, rating, and even by distance to certain landmarks. Once you select a hotel, you can compare booking prices from a variety of sites (hotels.com and easytobook.com, for instance).
What I liked
The site is well designed and quick to load, the interface is clean and easy to use, and the variety of sorting options is very appealing. Perhaps the most useful function of the site, however, is the ability to compare prices with different booking websites. In many cases I was able to find a cheaper booking option by selecting a hotel and clicking on “compare prices.” They also have an iphone app that you can download that has all of the functionality of the website.
What I didn’t like
Hotels are given numerical ratings, but there are no written reviews. I could go to a different website like Trip Advisor to find these reviews, but considering HotelCalculator has made it their mission to consolidate everything to one site, it would be nice to be able to access some written reviews of the hotels.
While there are pages of results for destinations in Europe, it was far more difficult to find hotels in some of the places I travel. Searches for cities in West Africa, for example, yield far fewer results. This is partly because there are fewer hotels, but it is also because HotelCalculator has not included many of them. Hotels.com comes up with 29 hotels for Accra, Ghana, while HotelCalculator comes up with 11. The site is still growing, however, and I could see this being easily remedied.
I will be adding HotelCalculator to my arsenal of travel websites, but I will not use it as my only option when searching for a hotel. I would consider it a great place to start your hotel search, depending on your destination. If you are looking for a hotel in Western Europe, HotelCalculator may very well be the only site you need to use.
For information on budget hotels check out hotels.bootsnall.com.